BP 2

“The American stake in literacy as a technology or uniformity applied to every level of education, government, industry, and social life is totally threatened by the electric technology. The threat of Stalin or Hitler was external. The electric technology is within the gates, and we are numb, deaf, blind and mute about its encounter with the Gutenberg technology, on and through which the American way of life was formed.” Pg. 13 Marshal McLuhan

Literally: In America, technology has influenced everything we do and is impeding on our literacy. This is an internal struggle that most people can’t perceive. The advancement of technology blurs our mind, and we live in a routine guided by these tools in society.

Intellectually: All around us is mediums or tools others created to make us unconsciously act a certain way that benefits themselves. This fight that only a few people can perceive is a battle of wit between literacy and technology. Technology was created to help in our literacy, but as time passed it’s become something extra. With most creating technology tools for greed and trapping fellow minds, the few follow the path of literacy. More and more people misuse technology by poisoning the minds of the majority to consume anything. With most Americans being sheep to the slaughter, only literacy can bring us back to our prime.

Emotionally: I feel as if I’m not whole but of broken pieces that I struggle to put together. This reminds me of my life in the military where we were broken and made to be part of an integral system. Now that I’m in society I still feel like I’m still searching for pieces to make up myself. We start to use different technologies to escape reality or fill our thoughts. Certain technology makes connections so fast that we don’t have time to think about what were doing. This leads us to follow the ideas that others put in front of us so we can consume more. This becomes an endless cycle that traps us in our own thoughts because we think we got what we wanted. The things we surround ourselves with becomes who we are.

Connection: How does this passage relate to something in Gee or in Postman? This passage relates to Postman because he says, “something has happened in America that is strange and dangerous, and there is only a dull and even stupid awareness of what is”. Postman is saying new technologies are dangerous and we aren’t even aware of it. This is like McLuhan’s writing that Americans are blind to electric technology. Both have a clear understanding that Americans are facing an imminent threat because of new technologies. We are relying on technology to the point where we are regressing in our intelligence.


“They all live among us today in the transnationalized metropolis of the United States and are becoming more widely visible, more pressing, and, like Guaman Poma’s text, more decipherable to those who once would have ignored them in defense of a stable, centered sense of knowledge and reality.” Pg. 37 Mary Louise Pratt

Literally: Literature that was disregarded is becoming necessary in the United States. We hide behind our illiteracy, so we won’t face the real world.

Intellectually: Our thought process is deteriorating as we ignore our past. In order to advance in not just our minds and actions we need to know what our predecessors did. The failures and success make us who we are. If we ignore the past and only use what we see before us to advance ourselves we are sure to cause failure. All the literature that we didn’t know about or ignored are surfacing. The reason this is happening is to become present in society. Remembering not just your own culture but everyone’s.

Emotionally: I felt vulnerable when reading this because I have been ignoring the clashes of power around us. I wasn’t paying attention to any culture including my own. I was going through the motions school, college, and then job but at a certain point in my life I didn’t know what to do. I ended up joining the Marine Corps for 5 years active duty and came back still not knowing what I truly wanted to do in life. As I read and write I’m starting to see what I want to do in life and this all started by understanding literature.

Connection: How does this passage relate to something in Gee or in Postman? This passage relates to Gee because literacy has been ignored. The “literacy crisis” Gee spoke about is evident. In order to reach a higher intellectual way of thinking, literacy is the answer. Modern society is producing new technologies that push away our cultural essence and leave us a shell of what our ancestors were. Our potential is only visible once we identify the knowledge of words. We were only glimpsing at the literature we once read without the proper tools to perceive it. Now that more intellectuals are deciphering texts, its more accessible to be intelligent.

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1 Response to BP 2

  1. This is a thoughtful response, Khaled. I wish you would show the connection to Gee more with the Pratt piece. I’m having trouble following the connection.

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